1. Introduction

Your help is needed to create an Agricultural Development Plan for Wilson County. This plan will contain the current state of agriculture and forestry, outline the challenges and opportunities for agriculture and forestry that exist, and develop recommendations to help maintain family farms and forests in Wilson County. The general public, agribusinesses, producers and landowners are targeted audiences for this survey. Non-farm resident participation is essential to ensure that views on open space, values placed on farms and forests, and impacts of development are part of the plan.

The word "agriculture" in this survey refers to farms (row crops, livestock, fruits/vegetables, flowers/plants, aquaculture) and forests.

The University of Mount Olive received a grant from NC Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund to create agricultural development plans for Chowan, Currituck, Pasquotank, Perquimmans and Wilson Counties. The Lois G. Britt Agribusiness Center at the University of Mount Olive is directing the project.

Many challenges face agriculture such as a heightened awareness of the relationships between farm uses and other land uses. Farms and forests, when located adjacent to industries, military installations and communities, are considered "compatible use partners" and provide numerous benefits to the county and its residents. A comprehensive strategy will assist with the county’s agriculture and land use policies and programs as well as develop these compatible partnerships. The Wilson County Agricultural Development Plan will provide that strategy.

The intent of this plan is neither to limit nor restrict landowners' rights and uses. The plan will increase awareness of agricultural development opportunities and appreciation of agriculture and forestry. The preservation of agriculture is important to the well being of family farms as well as to county and its economy. However, the ultimate decision of agricultural development rests in the hands of the landowners of farms and forests.

Please note that all information will be strictly confidential. Responses to the surveys will remain anonymous and are not identifiable. Your participation in this study is strictly voluntary.

Thank you for your interest and participation. If you have additional concerns or questions please contact Dr. Sandy Maddox at SMaddox@umo.edu or 919-658-7682.